Ipswich or Atlantis?

I spent a year studying skills at The Eastern Enterprise Hub based in the James Hehir building on the dock. This was the view one day on looking out of what is affectionately knows as the ‘goldfish bowl’.

Very much a futuristic

Submerged cars Ipswich Dock 7th March 2014

Submerged cars Ipswich Dock 7th March 2014

take on the Atlantis version of Ipswich.


Fast cars and beer do not mix

Whilst I was yomping around the eastern edges of Ipswich docklands the other morning I could not help but make an image of this storm torn billboard and the mixed messages that jumped to the fore of my mind.

One cannot afford(sic) this combo

One cannot afford(sic) this combo

An overdue look at the East end of Ipswich docklands

I went for a long walk this morning. It was one of those days of choices to be made at the bottom of our street. Right for Kingfishers. Left for the docks. Left it was as I have neglected this project for a few weeks owing to other admin and higher priorities with other projects.

A few from today.

Orwell River Cruises

Tank Fram

Tolly Cobbold Brewery

Much of the dock is thought of as the glossy pedestrianised part but there is a backside to all glossy front doors.



Supplicant cranes

I was out an hour and a quarter before sunrise today in my quest for more images to go into the pot to edit from for my forthcoming exhibition. By 0830 the game was over. Far too bright so I trundled home to undertake some admin. A foray out for the last two hours of daylight found me in Shotley looking across to a very empty Felixstowe. I set up on the foreshore and it was only after a frame or two that I realised that the cranes tending to the China Shipping vessel were settling into position almost like supplicants before a monarch.

Golden hour. You have got to love it.

Walton Terminal from Shotley

Walton Terminal from Shotley

A trip to Ipswich

Original post January 26, 2015 By: Bob Farrer

Came up last week on a foul day, cold with rain and sleet. Went to the museum to look for information on a slightly alternative way to add to the docks project,as I do not have the time to be able to visit regularly from Hemel Hempstead.

Museum was disappointing for me, although they may have items in the archive that are more docks, water and commerce related.

Took a few pics. of contrasts.





Comments from original blog

Peter Ellis · January 27, 2015 Reply

Hi Bob, like the broken sign, fits in well with our ideas…

Keith and Tom are the guys to talk about the archives, apparently there are a lot of images there (some taken by Keith!) It is a part of the project we will follow up on, we will keep everyone informed as to progress – we hope to borrow some images to supplement our new ones when we exhibit at the year end.

Whenever you plan to come up it’s always worth while ringing us to see if we are available, as we are generally gentlemen of leisure we may be able to meet up at short notice…

Tom · January 28, 2015 Reply

It certainly looks grim in these weather conditions Bob. If you contact the photography curator in advance, she has a treasure trove of photographic exhibits that could be brought out for ‘research’.
The Ipswich Society has just digitised analogue records of Ipswich and some are from Stoke Quay. There is a link on the BBC site but you should be able to find something out via The Ipswich Society Flickr site.

Bob Farrer · January 29, 2015 Reply

Thanks for that Tom, appreciated. If we could get a few of those recent 10×8 of yours up really big I think they could make great centre pieces to build an exhibition around. I am thinking – change is always happening, sometimes we notice it more – rather than a look what we are, look at what was, sort of rhetoric, does that make any sense?

Peter yes I will remember that, I came up last week on a spur of the moment, having had to put off a trip planned a couple of times.

The Early Bird

Original Post December 4, 2014 By: Keith Locke

Hello, thought I’d better show that I have started thinking about this project. The more I wander about the more ideas I have, these old docks have a wealth of tales to tell, so let’s hope that I can find one worth publishing.

The early bird


Comments from original blog

Tom Owens · December 4, 2014 Reply

Good to see you on the blog Keith. Keep them coming.

Avril R Harris · December 4, 2014 Reply

I like that, almost monochrome but not quite. I’m sure your ideas will grow the more you explore.

Tom Owens · December 5, 2014 Reply

The view this morning would have been sepia toned.

Peter Ellis · December 9, 2014 Reply

I like that one Keith, very atmospheric – must get out soon…

Fragments Too

Original post December 30, 2014 By: Peter Ellis

As a newcomer and unlike Tom and Keith, I am still discovering the byways of Ipswich and the way things have changed. I am concentrating on the connection between the Docks and the railways at the moment and discovering more fragments of that association.

This set of images is about one of the links to the sidings that once served the docks and, I believe, a cattle yard. The bridge over the River Orwell is still there and a level crossing on Ranelagh Road. The connection south of Ranelagh Road is still obvious but the tracks that have been left on the north side took a bit of finding – now we need to find a way of getting a good view of the bridge…

Fragments Too 4

Fragments Too 6

Fragments Too 5

Fragments Too 7

Fragments Too 2

Fragments Too 3

Fragments Too 1

Tom Owens · December 30, 2014 Reply

Looking good Peter. You are well and truly into territory that is familiar to me. Underneath the railway bridge that goes nowhere is dodgy at the top of a spring tide. You will need wellies. Local knowledge. This bit of track attracts photography students from UCS, or has done in the past. Keep them coming.

Peter Ellis · December 31, 2014 Reply

Thanks Tom, I thought that it would be worth a visit – need to go back again armed with the RB67 methinks, a lot of potential in this topic.

My sister is investigating her contact at the Environment Agency so fingers crossed…

Tom Owens · January 1, 2015 Reply

Absolutely 6×7 subject matter IMHO. Good luck with the EA. Watching the docks from the orwellBridge does show one how busy it still is especially the grain shipments. The West bank looks to be very busy. I could not help but think of the North docks in Liverpool when I saw the pile of scrap metal. I worked in Gladstone Dock as a callow youth and it was a myriad of eastern products on import and booze by the shedload for export. Now it seems that the money is in scrap.

Keith Locke · January 2, 2015 Reply

Another good set of images Peter, it’s great to see all these wider views of the docks and the traces of the days gone by. We will have plenty to discuss at our next meeting.


Original post December 18, 2014 By: Peter Ellis

These images are the ‘Fragments’ of the title, small reminders of what was once a thriving industrial dockland environment. Although relatively new to Ipswich there are parallels in my home town of Swansea – once the largest port in the UK  Copperopolis. The change from a working port to a leisure based industry is fraught with both success and failure, especially in an economic recession.

These images show reminders of the rail network that was so important to the efficient operation of the Docks, moving goods in and out.

Fragments 4

Fragments 3

Fragments 2

Fragments 1

Ipswich has also seen and experienced these ups and downs and will eventually succeed.

Comments from original blog

Tom Owens · December 18, 2014 Reply

Good to see your work up here Peter. The railway lines were working when I first rolled up here and insufficient cargo gets transported form the current docks by rail these days. Perversely, IBC are talking of a new distribution centre at Sproughton with a new rail link. we will wait and see. I took some railway line images at the weekend on the ‘island’. I have a love hate relationship with them. I love to see them like this but hate them in the darkk on my push bike!

Peter Ellis · December 18, 2014 Reply

Yes, wet cobbles and spilt Diesel – the motorcyclists nightmare. I had to keep an eye out for passing cars and being splashed! Which part do you call the Island – you will have to show me some time, I want to get some images of the railway bridge on Wherstead rd as well…

Tom Owens · December 18, 2014 Reply

Instead of walking straight ahead towards the UCS building just after you photographed these submerged tracks, bear 20 degrees to Starboard and walk towards the Marina office leaving the dock on your Port side. That is the lump of excavated dock that borders on the new cut/Stoke Quay and the dock. This ‘island’ is earmarked for a new innovation park if and when the dock is bridged. It houses the grain shed in the gated area and the motor yacht sheds in the publicly accessible areas.
You can make one of your images a featured image so it displays above your prose. Call me if you want me to explain how to do it.

Peter Ellis · December 18, 2014 Reply

Aah – I didn’t realise you could go into the motor yacht shed area – all is clear now… cheers! Also I couldn’t find out how to re-size featured image, will give you a ring later…

Keith Locke · December 20, 2014 Reply

Great set of images Peter, the light on the rails, especially on Fragments 1 and 4 create enjoyable abstracts.

Global warming

Original posting: January 20, 2015 By: Tom Owens

It was bitter this morning but little or no wind. I decided it was good for large format but a location I had in mind had changed so I went on a road trip looking for suitable vistas in the -4C conditions. I ended up in Felixstowe just as a DFDS vessel left the mouth of the port but further down the quay I noticed tugs fussing about a Maersk vessel. Then the plume of marine diesel fumes disgorged from the funnel and lo, another dose of carbon to fuel the global warming issue.



Marine traffic on that constant circumnavigation of the globe is the biggest contributor to carbon exhausts into the atmosphere. This is another aspect of change that needs to be recorded alongside our developing project. Global marine traffic and cement manufacture. What can we do about it?


Comments from original blog:

Keith Locke · January 20, 2015 Reply

It looks every degree of minus four, well done Tom for braving it.

Tom · January 20, 2015 Reply

I’d gone up to Landseer Road to try and get some illuminated views of the East bank but being vertically challenged, and not having a tall enough stepladder in the car, I backed out of it and headed to the Northern Fringe and thence to Landguard. Opportunistic as I was scouting for Edgelands down Bucklesham Road and had no option but to turn left onto the A14.

Peter Ellis · January 21, 2015 Reply

I love the muted tones of the Maersk image Tom, as Keith said very cool!!

The question of Diesel fumes is another one – I think that big ships are not too bad when you work out the amount of emissions per tonne carried, not when compared to the trucks that carry the containers onward… I don’t know what the eventual outcome will be, we will either evolve or die. The planet will give itself a shake and wonder what that relatively short period of human contamination was all about and get on with the time of the Insects!!